For the Love of Christ

O Jesus Christ! my fairest Light

Author: Paul Gerhardt; Translator: J. Kelly (1867)
Published in 1 hymnal

Full Text

O Jesus Christ! my fairest Light,
Who in Thy soul dost love me,
I ne’er can tell it, nor its height
Mete, ’tis so high above me,
Grant that my heart may warm to Thee,
With ardent love ne’er ceasing,
Thee embracing,
And as Thy property,
Cleave to Thee, ever gazing.

Grant that an idol in me may
Dwell e’en a moment never,
Grant me to make Thy love, I pray,
My crown and prize for ever!
Cast all things out, take all away,
That Thee and me would sever,
So that ever
By Thy love, my pow’rs may
Be kindled, and cool never!

How friendly, blessèd, sweet, and fair
Is Thy love, Jesus ever!
While this remains, distress and care
Can grieve my spirit never.
Then let me only think of Thee,
Be seeing, hearing, feeling,
Loving, telling
Of Thee, and Thy great love to me
Oh! be Thou more revealing!

Oh! that this greatest, highest good,
I might for aye be tasting!
Oh! that in me this noble blood
Might glow to everlasting!
Help me to watch, Lord! day and night,
This blessèd treasure shielding
From unyielding
Foes, who ’gainst us the might
Of Satan’s realm are wielding!

My Saviour! Thou in love to me
Hast down to death descended,
And like a murd’rer on the tree
And thief hast been suspended,
Spit on, despis’d and wounded sore,
The wounds which Thee have riven,
May it even
To me at the heart’s core
With love to feel be given.

The blood that hath been shed by Thee
Is good and precious ever,
My heart is wicked desp’rately,
Hard as a millstone nether.
Ah! let the virtue of Thy blood
My flinty heart be bending,
Entrance finding;
And may Thy love, life’s flood
Through all my veins be sending.

Oh! were my heart op’d to receive
The blood-drops that were falling
From Thee, wrung by my sin that eve
In agony appalling!
Oh! that the fountains of mine eyes
Were op’d, and with much sighing,
And sore crying,
Gush’d forth, as tears and sighs
Of men in love who’re dying.

Oh! that I as a little child
With weeping eyes might trace Thee,
E’en till Thy heart with love was fill’d
And Thine arms did embrace me.
And until Thou Thy heart to me
With sweet love flowing over,
Should’st discover,
And we united be,
Thy goodness for my cover.

Ah! draw me, Saviour! after Thee,
And so shall I be hasting,
I run, and in my heart shall be
Thy love with rapture tasting;
The gracious words from Thee I’ll hear
Sweet comfort shall give ever;
Me deliver
From sin, and every fear,
These shall o’ercome me never.

My Comfort, Treasure, Health, and Light,
My Life and Saviour tender!
Ah! take me for Thy portion quite
As I myself surrender!
There’s nought but pain apart from Thee,
I nought but gall discover,
Earth all over,
Nought ever comforts me,
No balm can me recover.

But Thou the Rest most blessed art,
In Thee are joys eternal.
Grant, Jesus! grant that my poor heart
Feed in Thy pastures vernal!
Be Thou the flame that burns in me,
My Balsam, ease that giveth,
And relieveth
Pain that here constantly
Makes me heave sighs, and grieveth.

Ah! fairest one, what faileth me
In Thy great love, of blessing?
It is my sun that lightens me,
My well-spring, me refreshing!
My sweetest wine, my heav’nly bread,
My cov’ring when before Thee,
And my glory,
My shield in hour of need,
My house that riseth o’er me!

Ah! dearest love, why was I born,
If Thou my soul forsakest?
If Thou withdraw’st, I’m all forlorn,
All good from me Thou takest.
O may I seek Thee as my guest,
With all my best endeavour
Keep Thee ever;
And when I Thee arrest,
Let Thee go from me never.

I’ve been belov’d by Thee for aye,
To follow Thou did’st move me;
Before I good could e’er essay,
E’en then did Thy heart love me:
Ah! noble Rock! Thy love below
May it for ever guide me,
And beside me
Be it where’er I go,
To aid whate’er betide me.

And may Thy love adorn my place,
Where’er my lot Thou’rt casting;
And if I wander from Thy ways,
To bring me back be hasting.
And let me ever counsel wise,
Good works from Thee be learning,
From sin turning,
And when from falls I rise,
Come back to Thee with yearning!

And ever be my joy in woe,
When weak, with Thy strength stay me;
And when my course is run below,
I down to rest will lay me.
Then may Thy love and truth with me,
O Christ! abide for ever,
Leave me never,
Till I Thy glory see,
Oh! may they waft me thither!

Paul Gerhardt’s Spiritual Songs, 1867

Author: Paul Gerhardt

Gerhardt, Paulus, son of Christian Gerhardt, burgomaster of Gräfenhaynichen, near Wittenberg, was born at Grafenhaynichen, Mar. 12, 1607. On January 2, 1628, he matriculated at the University of Wittenberg. In the registers of St. Mary's church, Wittenberg, his name appears as a godfather, on July 13, 1641, described still as "studiosus," and he seems to have remained in Wittenberg till at least the end of April, 1642. He appears to have gone to Berlin in 1642 or 1643, and was there for some time (certainly after 1648) a tutor in the house of the advocate Andreas Barthold, whose daughter (Anna Maria, b. May 19, 1622, d. March 5, 1668) became his wife in 1655. During this period he seems to have frequently preached in Berlin. He was appoint… Go to person page >

Translator: J. Kelly

Kelly, John, was born at Newcastle-on-Tyne, educated at Glasgow University, studied theology at Bonn, New College, Edinburgh, and the Theological College of the English Presbyterian Church (to which body he belongs) in London. He has ministered to congregations at Hebburn-on-Tyne and Streatham, and was Tract Editor of the Religious Tract Society. His translations of Paul Gerhardt's Spiritual Songs were published in 1867. Every piece is given in full, and rendered in the metre of the originals. His Hymns of the Present Century from the German were published in 1886 by the Religious Tract Society. In these translations the metres of the originals have not always been followed, whilst some of the hymns have been abridged and others condens… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: O Jesus Christ! my fairest Light
Title: For the Love of Christ
German Title: O Jesu Christ, mein schoenstes Licht
Author: Paul Gerhardt
Translator: J. Kelly (1867)
Meter: 8.7.8.7.8.7.4.6.7
Language: English
Publication Date: 1867
Copyright: This text in in the public domain in the United States because it was published before 1923.



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